A blog revealing the arc of a student exhibit at the Museum for the History of Science scheduled for display 24 April – 24 June 2012.


Welcome to the account of our exhibit process.  Our team is composed of a diverse group of Masters students in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology programme at Oxford University, organizing a show around a central theme – traces.


Traces offers the chance to explore how instruments leave a mark on, are marked by, or are left unmarked by the world around them. We invite visitors to marvel at the power of instruments to construct images that contain valuable information about the world or the people around them. These instruments may in turn become images themselves, offering irrefutable proof that “we were here” and in some way breached the interface between man and machine. Perhaps most puzzling, though, are those instruments that have no trace at all – neither intellectually nor tangibly. What did these machines do?  And why are we unable to remember them?


We hope you enjoy this blog as a way to further contemplate these themes. The blog is divided into the same sections as the Traces exhibit at the History of Science Museum in Oxford. Throughout the duration of the exhibit we will be posting images and descriptions of some of the instruments that we encountered while putting this exhibit together. Please leave comments if you have further insight into the significance of these objects. We are especially excited to hear your thoughts on the instruments that have no trace! We look forward to sharing this exhibit with you both at the museum and online.


– The Traces Team.